Sunday, 25 March 2012

2D Planning/Timing & Spacing

Hey people!

Sorry that it's been a while since I've posted, things have been busy but there'll be more about that in another post. So, onto the topic...

After looking through my old iAnimate folder the other week I found a few of my 2D planning files for some of the workshop 1 assignments. Not only did they remind me of how much fun planning in 2D is but they also allowed me to remember how I managed to fully understand spacing. As well as to differentiate between timing and spacing but to also figure out how they work together. I think a lot of beginner animators can get a bit confused with this area of animation. Timing and spacing go hand in hand but they are both their own seperate principles that need to be understood.

Here's the assignment that really gave me my "AHA!" moment with timing and spacing:



Use this link to frame through the video - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8689992/2d_anim1.1.mov
From watching this first video you should see flashes of lines every now and then. These are visual representatives of my balls spacing. They're called timing charts and mostly look like this:
They help animators to break down movements between extremes/key poses into inbetweens. Not only can they help you to figure out where breakdowns will go but I found that you can use them to draw out your spacing whilst working on a ball bounce. As you may or may not know, the smaller the spacing the slow the object will move and the larger the spacing the faster it will move. 

Take this frame from my video and you can see that when the ball reaches its apex the spacing is drawn on the chart as being close together and as it falls it gets larger and larger. This means my ball slows out of it's highest position and increases in speed as it is pulled down by gravity.
If you're struggling with timing or spacing, or the two I'd definitely recommend trying something like this. But before that, check out Jason Ryans free rampup tutorials for Timing and Spacing HERE.
Here's a similar one for a ball with an anticipation before the jump:
Use this link to frame through the video - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8689992/2d_anticanim1.mov
Animation principles aside, I found that planning in 2D was a ton of fun and that it's a very quick way to find out if something works. I used Flipbook to make these videos, it's very easy to understand and use. Here are a couple of other 2D plans for assignments:
Quicktime video - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8689992/2d_animballjump.mov
Quicktime video - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8689992/w5_a3_fb_jump_retimed.mov
Quicktime video - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8689992/a4_fb_planning.mov
When I started working on assignments that were more complicated, shots where I was animating a biped doing something more complex I would use my video reference to plan. I didn't only watch it but I imported it into Flipbook and watched it over and over frame by frame. Whilst doing this I could draw over the top of it and make notes. Mainly I'd write notes to remind myself of certain things I was doing as well as drawing stronger poses over the top of the poses I was already creating. This helped me to push things in 3D, to look more appealing.
Now, I'm no 2D animator and these tests are pretty old now so I don't blame anyone for screaming at their monitor whilst watching these videos. But I do hope that this blog post will spark someones interest in planning in 2D and its advantages. I see it as being quite close to thumbnailing but with a 2D test you can really throw ideas down quickly and frame between them to see how they work/their relationship.
I hope you guys find this post useful or interesting!

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